It is no secret that the latest stage of evolution of Homo sapiens majorly and massively depends on technology and digital sources. The first thing majority of us do immediately after waking up is to check our phones, for possibly new messages, e-mails, notifications as well as news. Even the traditional way of drinking tea and reading newspaper has been changed to drinking tea and reading news on a tablet. From shopping to garnering information, people have found convenience online. Hence it has become inevitable for brands to convert their business into online platform and interact with their audience digitally.
Going digital has provided brands with tremendous opportunities. It has the potential to reach masses with lesser costs. Let us say that you have a shop in Dubai mainland. The proximity to residential area attracts approximately 100 footfalls per day and converts at an average of optimistic 20. But since your shop is located in the mainland, there are chances that you are paying hefty rents and maintenance costs. If you open up your shop in Free Zone, you won’t be attracting so many footfalls per day. Thus cost of acquisition per customer is higher. Now say you open a website and go online. Website cost is a capital cost, unlike rent. You spread your legs in different social media which is almost free and pay them a fee for micro targeting. Here within few weeks, you will attract higher traction than your offline shop and although the conversion rate is prominently low than offline store, the sales in terms of absolute volume is usually 10 times the offline store and cost of acquisition is usually 20% lesser than offline store. Not to forget, the imminent brand awareness you will generate at almost negligible costs.
Not just in terms of costs and reach, going digital has proven fruitful in terms of customer service and post sales service. Quick Redressal of grievances by social media has increased customer satisfaction and there by brand image, Brands like Netflix, Dominos, Cadbury are so responsive on their digital platforms that they have peaked complaint resolutions at fastest rate.
However, a business should be a perfect blend of digital and traditional model. Banking system has seen that going digital by providing consumers facilities like online banking, online transfers, checking status of your account on your phone, has ironically increased the total costs. But on the flip side, it has decreased cost per acquisition and increased volumes of consumers. Thus a business should never only be offline or only be online; it should be a balanced mixture of both. We have seen businesses like WalMart go online and Amazon delve into offline with Amazon Go,
While moving to digital formats, brands need to take care of several things ranging from website appearance, search engine results and customer interaction. Website should be interactive and easy to navigate. Nowadays, mobile transactions have rapidly increased; hence brands should have a mobile friendly website too. In addition, Mobile applications serve as the best alternative to the website. It is imperative that consumers find the interface user friendly and not too confusing; this should be backed up with appropriate IT infrastructure to support these services.
Consumers generally tend to search for a product or a service online and click on the first 3-4 links that appears on the first page. Hence if you sell quality products, it is of no use, if it appears on the later pages of search results. For this businesses need to undertake Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and deploy SEO, SEM experts to take care of the same. Social Media presence is crucial as well. Social Media content should be curated in such a way that it attracts audiences, avoids negative remarks and enables users to provide a feedback. It is a cumbersome task to for a brand to go digital, but once it does, the benefits shall reap numerous sales, awareness and not to mention ROI.
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